India vs Australia 1st T20I – Coffee with Team India : Ahead of their first T20I against Australia, Team India cricketers Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal on Friday stopped by a Cafe in Canberra for a cup of Coffee. The players were joined by Mayank Agarwal’s wife Aashita Sood as they had fun at a cafe in the capital city.
Meanwhile, Pandya took to Instagram to post a selfie from his outing with his teammates and captioned the photo, “Out and about beautiful sunny Canberra.”
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Notably, short of resources in ODIs, India will have enough options to choose from to pose a stiffer challenge to Australia when the two sides clash in a three-match T20 series beginning here on Friday.
The 1-2 ODI series loss reaffirmed that India have a lot of work to do in the 50-over format but they possess a much more balanced squad in the shortest format.
Before the pandemic suspended sporting activities around the world, India had blanked hosts New Zealand in a five-match series and they will be taking a lot of confidence out of that result into the contest against Australia.
The presence of Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar and T Natarajan, who did well on his ODI debut on Wednesday, lends much-needed balance to the bowling department.
However, in the T20s, Kohli will also have the services of Sundar in both the departments and there is a possibility that Hardik can roll his arm over for a brief spell like he did from the second ODI onwards.
Yorker specialist Natarajan, who was a late addition to the ODI squad, could also make his T20 debut on Friday having shown enough promise in his maiden international appearance.
Unlike the SCG, the Manuka Oval surface had enough for both the spinners and pacers. It will be interesting to see who opens up the bowling alongside Jasprit Bumrah with the toss-up being between Mohammad Shami and Deepak Chahar.
In batting, K L Rahul, who batted at five in ODIs, is expected to go back to his preferred opening slot alongside Shikhar Dhawan.
Skipper Kohli looked in good touch in ODIs and will be aiming to build on that while number four Shreyas Iyer will be targetting big scores from great starts like he did in the preceding three-match series.
On the other hand, Australia, after naming the same squad for ODIs as well as T20s, would be backing themselves to beat India after a clinical display over the last one week despite injury concerns.
Star batsman David Warner is unavailable due to a groin injury and it remains to be seen if Marnus Labuschagne comes alongside skipper Aaron Finch on Friday like they both did a night ago.
Marcus Stoinis would have been another good opening option with Finch but he too is a doubtful starter due to a side injury he suffered during the ODIs.
Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, who were rested on Wednesday, are expected to return to bolster the attack.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (VC), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, A’Arcy Short, Adam Zampa.
Match starts 1.40 PM IST.